Colbert C's the moment

DAVE GROSS -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Will Colbert's about to get an education in the intricacies of interpretation.

As the new captain of the 67's -- it's pretty much a job requirement.

After all, it will be the Arnprior native's responsibility to translate the sometimes bombastic outbursts from his coach to the referee ... without a misconduct.

The notion jogged a grin-and-chuckle out of Colbert during yesterday's press conference at the Civic Centre.

"I guess I'll need to get a little bond going with the refs," cracked Colbert. "It's going to be a challenge for sure."

Brian Kilrea nodded in agreement.

"I kind of think he'll tone it down," the coach said with a smile. "He'll just go on out there and use that easygoing drawl and tell them what I'm 'trying' to say. That's if the referee hasn't already heard me."

Kilrea phoned Colbert at home on Monday night with the news.

"The biggest thing with him is respect. He's respected by his teammates and around the league," Kilrea said.

The coach said a recommendation from graduating captain Corey Locke had a lot to do with his choice.

"He was a great captain and (what he said) meant a lot," said Kilrea.

Colbert's first experiences as a 67, and first experiences with a captain taught him what to expect. Two years ago, it was Brendan Bell running the room.

So, for the second time in the last three years, Ottawa's on-ice and off-ice leader will be homegrown.

"I learned a lot from (Bell). He was one of the guys you always look up to," said Colbert. "He was always classy."

Owner Jeff Hunt admitted it's not a requirement to be local, but it sure doesn't hurt.

'VERY PROUD'

"It's a bonus that he's an Ottawa guy and that he's also a draft pick of the Ottawa Senators (7th round, 2003). He's hopefully got a long future here in this city," said Hunt.

"To me, he represents the type of character and integrity and leadership that you'd want in a team captain ... I said the same thing about Brendan Bell -- I've got a son and if he grows up to be like Will Colbert, I'll be very proud."

The 19-year-old blueliner played in 55 regular season games last winter, scoring three times with 18 assists. Colbert added four assists in the 67's seven playoff games.

Jeremy Akeson, Mark Mancari and Kyle Wharton are the team's assistant captains this season.

NOTES: The 67's will honour both the 1984 and 1999 Memorial Cup champions on Oct. 8. Brian Campbell, Nick Boynton and Mark Bell will be in attendance. Gary Roberts has also committed ... 1,500 tickets remain for Friday's opener... With the Civic Centre's new plush seats in place, capacity has dropped from 10,347 to 9,862 ... Long-time media and promotions director Jason O'Connor leaves for a job with the city later this week. Bryan Cappell takes over the post.


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